Many of the commercial ciders on the market today tend to be too sweet for my palate. Measured on a scale called Brix, many of those ciders come in at a Brix rating of 4, 5 or even higher. I think that’s why I enjoy so many of the ciders from Seattle Cider Company. They keep their ciders low on the Brix scale, which means they aren’t as cloyingly sweet. Their Dry cider, for example, is 0 (zero) Brix and their Semi-Sweet cider clocks in at just 2.6 Brix.
If you’re also a fan of ciders that stay a bit more on the dry side, then you’ll be excited to learn that Seattle Cider Company is ready to bring back their Spring Seasonal: Basil Mint Cider. Coming in at 6.9 ABV and just 1.8 Brix, this Spring Seasonal starts off with a base of 100 percent fresh pressed Washington apples, accompanied by 100 pounds of fresh basil and 100 pounds of fresh mint. Muddled on site, the basil and mint are then added directly to the cider during fermentation, providing savory and floral characteristics and a clean finish.
Are you a fan of English style barleywines? If you aren’t familiar with the style, English barleywines, as compared to American style barleywines, tend to be just a bit more on the sweet side with a more subdued hop character and more fruit esters.
Are you also a fan of small batch breweries? Then Foggy Noggin Brewing Company out of Bothell (ones of Washington’s smallest production craft breweries) has an event coming up that should be right up your alley. Next Friday, February 17th from 6 pm – 8 pm, Foggy Noggin is hosting a vertical tasting (2013, 2015, 2016) of their English style barleywine: Duck’s Ass. There are only 20 spots available for this special vertical tasting and the cost is $30 per person.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company brews some of my favorite beers. I was dismayed a bit last October when they announced that they were discontinuing their Proprietor’s Reserve series, which included what was probably my favorite IPA of all time: Double Jack. However, I was thrilled earlier this year to learn that they’ll be putting their entire line of Vintage Reserve beers in 12 oz bottles, starting with Bravo.
As sad as I was to see Double Jack go, I’ve really been enjoying Firestone’s Luopnic Distortion Series of IPAs. For those who aren’t familiar with the series, Firestone is brewing a line of IPAs which will all have the same malt bill, but each new iteration will use different hops. The first 4 have already dropped and now, Firestone Walker is pleased to announced the imminent arrival of Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 005.
Back in early 2015, I first told you about the debut of Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). It’s coffee-forward aroma and flavor are the perfect marriage of two quintessentially Seattle flavors: coffee and craft beer. Available seasonally from late Winter through Spring, Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale is low in acidity and subtly sweet.
For this year’s iteration of Cold Brew, Two Beers has partnered with Seattle’s own Anchorhead Coffee. According to Two Beers’ founder, Joel VandenBrink: “Their unique roasting process and the flavors that shine through make this beer one of our favorites, and perfect for everything from brunch to backpacking.”
Back in November of last year, I told you aboutReuben’s Brews‘ Hop Idol homebrew contest. As a call back to the homebrewing roots of founder Adam Robbings, Reuben’s Brews held this homebrew competition as a means to help inspire other homebrewers to chase their own brewery dreams.
Entrants could submit up to 5 entries each and all entries were due by January 17th. The judging took place the week of January 21st and now Reuben’s Brews is ready to announce the winner who will get to brew their beer with Reuben’s and see it distributed throughout Western Washington. The winning beer will also be entered into the Washington Beer Awards Pro-Am competition as well as the Great American Beer Festival.
The Pacific Northwest has a well-deserved reputation for having a large number of businesses who embrace the ‘local and sustainable’ movement. That is, trying to use local ingredients as much as possible as well as looking out for the environment, so our beautiful Pacific Northwest stays beautiful for years and years to come.
Ninkasi Brewing Company embraces this philosophy and wants to celebrate the Pacific Northwest, as well as the fantastic and fresh local ingredients available. To that end, Ninkasi Brewing is happy to announce the latest addition to their year-round Flagship Series of beers, Pacific Rain Pale Ale. Featuring crystal clear, lava-filtered water from the McKenzie River and four Pacific Northwest-grown hop varieties: Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, and Nugget.
Is it too early to start thinking about Spring? I know we’re still in the middle of Winter right now, but it hasn’t been too horrible this year and who knows what news the groundhog will have for us this Thursday (Groundhog Day is February 2nd). At Pyramid Brewing they’ve been doing a bit more than just thinking about Spring and earlier this month they announced the release of their Spring seasonal, Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale. Dry hopped with Lemondrop™ hops and real lemon peel, Triangulate brings us Spring a bit early this year.
Also arriving now from Pyramid is their limited time Brewer’s Reserve Railroad Avenue, which will be available from mid-January to late April. An Imperial Porter, Railroad Avenue uses deep roasted malts and roasted barley with dashes of vanilla, cinnamon and dark brown sugar. According to Pyramid: “Railroad Avenue is a big, malty brew that conducts the palate to a nicely spiced, mildly sweet finish.”
Seattle is known for a lot of different things including coffee, craft beer and, of course, great seafood, and one of the most iconic and well known seafood names in Seattle is Ivar’s. First opened on the Seattle waterfront’s Pier 3 (now Pier 54) in 1938 , Ivar’s has expanded to 26 different locations around Washington state. Their clam chowder (and salmon chowder) have become the stuff of Seattle legend.
Hawaii is also known for it’s great seafood. Ivar’s knows this and is currently featuring some island themed menu choices including: Grilled Opah, Lomi-Lomi Salmon Salad, Coconut and Pineapple Carrot Cake and they’re even currently featuring Kona Brewing Compnay’s Big Wave Golden Ale and their new Hanalei Island Style IPA. If the sound of these island dishes has you in that tropical island mood and you’re looking to escape the cold this Winter, then you’ll want to enter Ivar’s Island Getaway contest for your chance to win a trip for 4 to Maui.
I’ve always been a big fan of Naked City Brewery & Taphouse. They make some of my favorite locally-brewed beers including their The Big Lebrewski Imperial Stout and Cry Me A River Triple IPA. Unfortunately, I don’t get there as often as I’d like but every time I’m in the Greenwood area, I’ll stop by. One taste of their beers is all it takes to let you know Owner and Brewmaster Don Webb really loves his work.
Now, after going strong for over 8 years (they celebrated their 8th Anniversary last October), Naked City is ready to expand. So, coming as soon as this Spring, Naked City is pleased to announced they will be opening their 2nd location out on Camano Island.
I’m not generally big on making new year’s resolutions. I know a few people who sometimes do though, and those resolutions often revolve around some type of fitness goal like losing a few pounds, starting a new exercise routine, eating better, that kind of thing. I even know a few people who decided to make January a dry month this year, where they would not drink for the whole month.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a resolution but, this year, I’ve decided that I’ll be doing a dry February (well – January 26th to February 25th). That means 30 days of no drinking. At the same time, I’m trying to motivate myself to work out a bit more often than I do now and see if I can drop a few pounds.
Of course, you don’t have to eliminate alcohol from your diet to attain your fitness goals. In fact, some studies have even shown that beer can be quite effective as a post-workout recovery beverage. Perhaps that’s part of what motivated Happy Hour Fitness NW to start their Pilates & Pints program. It sounds like a great way to combine your drive for working out with your craft beer-related social life in a comfortable and familiar setting.